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[no audio]>> benedict the 16th reps of his final hours. here he is saying goodbye to the cardinals of the catholic church. >> in eight hours time, pope benedict xvi will no longer be head of the catholic church. >> you are watching al jazeera live from our headquarters. a special tribunal in bangladesh sentences and islamic party leader to death for war crimes. pushing for the stalemate in syria. extra aid to opposition groups. the private mission to mars. only married couples need apply. >> benedict xvi is fending his last -- spending his last few hours as pope. saying his final farewell to church cardinals right now. pope benedict is the first church leader in six centuries to step down. he says poor health has presented him -- has prevented him from continuing his term. what do we expect to happen? once he stands down, he will assume the new title pope emeritus. the vatican says he will continue to use his papal title rather than reverting to -- he will also have to change what he wears. the simple white people rope will remain. his ring and the papal seal, they will be destroye
>> a standing ovation for pope benedict xvi as he makes his first public appearance after announcing his stepping down -- he is stepping down. hello. this is al jazeera, live from in doha. >> it is our task to make sure this government works on behalf of the many and not just the few. more than 50 gunmen stormed a military base in southern thailand with deadly consequences. shootout in a remote mountain cabin in the u.s., the latest twist in the hunt for a former police officer accused of murder. pope benedict xvi has given his first weekly general audience since he shocked the world by becoming the first pontiff in six centuries to step down. he received a long standing ovation as he made its way into the audience hall at the vatican? . later he will preside over an ash wednesday mass. will go to our correspondent at the vatican. he said that he is stepping down for the good of the church. >> absolutely. the pope went straight into it. his first words were that he has taken the decision in full freedom and for the good of the church. he went on explaining that he understo
for one of the final blessings from pope benedict. he delivered a special prayer to the masses from his window overlooking st. peter's square. >> smiling and staring out in a fast cheering crowd, the traditional sunday appearance of the pope. not since six centuries has the pope told his followers he is resigning. this was to be his first address since the shock announcement six days ago. there were banners -- thank you very much, others said, we love you. his voice sounded clear and strong. he spoke in several languages. asking the crowd to pray for him and the next pope. in italian, he expressed gratitude. [spaking italian] >> your presence is a sign of your affection. i am deeply grateful. i thank the administration of rome and all the inhabitants of this lovely and beloved city. >> it has been a momentous, historic week for the catholic church. now the faithful are expressing their emotions by sheer numbers. st. peter's square is overflowing. earlier as people arrived, many of the crowds expressed their emotions. >> we have come to say goodbye. we were here when he was elected, and
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